Great Salt Lake trust offers millions for wetland protection

Jul 24, 2023, 1:10 PM

The Great Salt Lake is an important migratory area for birds across North America....

Birds use the Farmington Bay Area as one of several migratory areas for birds at the Great Salt Lake on Feb. 2, 2022. (Carter Williams/KSL)

(Carter Williams/KSL)

This article is published through the Great Salt Lake Collaborative, a solutions journalism initiative that partners news, education, and media organizations to help inform people about the history and the plight of the Great Salt Lake.

FARMINGTON, Utah — A trust created by the Utah State Legislature to help save the Great Salt Lake is now funding efforts to protect critical wetland habitats.

The Great Salt Lake Watershed Enhancement Trust announced it would fund projects that would protect or restore wetlands around the lake in an effort to help its hydrology. Nonprofit groups, cities or counties could get up to $10 million to help in wetland protection.

“Important habitat for millions of migratory birds and other wildlife and also continue to create that important interface with our communities,” said Marcelle Shoop, who is the trust’s director and also works for the Audubon Society.

Applications are being taken until Sept. 15 and people can apply directly with the trust.

“We are looking for projects that are very high quality that actually will result in improved habitat, improved wetland functionality,” Shoop said.

The Great Salt Lake has benefited from a great winter — rising 5 1/2 feet from its historic low last year. The lake is now declining again as a result of hot temperatures and increased water diversions. A shrinking lake has alarmed state leaders who worry about reduced snowpack and water supply, toxic dust storms, harms to wildlife and public health and billions in negative impact to Utah’s economy.

To help refill the lake, the legislature created the trust and tapped the Audubon Society and The Nature Conservancy with the goal of securing water for the lake itself. Shoop told FOX 13 News that negotiations are under way with people on water rights. The trust is also taking donations (The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints recently donated water shares to the lake).

“We’re still optimistic and again, this year having been a much better water year, has made things available that haven’t been,” Shoop said. “But there are lots more opportunities that we want to continue to talk to people.”


We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.


Jack Walpole stays cool by sitting in his chair in the water as he and his family enjoy the day at ...

Emma Keddington

Utah getting two new community fishing ponds

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources wildlife board approved the new fisheries that will open next year.

4 days ago

MILLCREEK — Coyotes are popping up more often in more Salt Lake neighborhoods. Millcreek is the ...


‘They’re following people in our neighborhoods’: Millcreek sees uptick in coyote sightings

Coyotes are popping up more often in more Salt Lake neighborhoods. Millcreek is the latest city to report more coyote encounters.

8 days ago

A roundtail chub out of water....

Mariah Maynes

Roundtail chub nursery pond created by Moab City, DWR

The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources said it has partnered with Moab City to create a nursery pond to raise roundtail chub.

10 days ago

An archery target with arrows sticking out. The Utah Division of Wildlife Resources has provided so...

Tim Hughes

DWR to offer free entry to 2 shooting ranges for National Hunting and Fishing Day

Utahns with a valid state hunting, fishing or combination license will get free entry to two ranges for National Hunting and Fishing Day.

11 days ago

Dogs chasing wildlife...

Mark Jones

DWR says deer, elk and fish among wildlife most commonly poached in Utah

Chad Bettridge, with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, says deer, elk and fish are the most common wildlife to be poached in Utah.

16 days ago

Image of a truck belonging to the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, which reports that 173 wild ...

Mark Jones

DWR reports 173 illegally killed wildlife since Aug. 1

Most of the illegally killed wildlife were fish,. however, the DWR said there have been 15 big game animals poached in the last six weeks.

17 days ago

Sponsored Articles

silhouette of a family looking over a lake with a bird in the top corner flying...

Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

8 Fun Activities To Do in Bear Lake Without Getting in the Water

Bear Lake offers plenty of activities for the whole family to enjoy without having to get in the water. Catch 8 of our favorite activities.

Wellsville Mountains in the spring with a pond in the foreground...

Wasatch Property Management

Advantages of Renting Over Owning a Home

Renting allows you to enjoy luxury amenities and low maintenance without the long-term commitment and responsibilities of owning a home.

Clouds over a red rock vista in Hurricane, Utah...

Wasatch Property Management

Why Southern Utah is a Retirement Paradise

Retirement in southern Utah offers plenty of cultural and recreational opportunities. Find out all that this region has to offer.

Human hand holding a protest banner stop vaping message over a crowded street background....

Prosperous Utah Communities

Utah’s Battle to Protect Youth from Vaping Epidemic Faces New Threat as Proposed Rule Threatens Progress

Utah's strict standards of nicotine levels in vaping products are at risk, increasing health hazards associated with use. Read more about how you can advocate for a better future for Utah's youth.

Aerial photo of Bear Lake shoreline with canopies and people camped out on the beach...

Visit Bear Lake

Last-Minute Summer Vacation Planning? Check Out Bear Lake!

Bear Lake is the perfect getaway if you are last-minute summer vacation planning. Enjoy activities with your whole family at this iconic lake.

close up of rose marvel saliva blooms in purple...

Shannon Cavalero

Drought Tolerant Perennials for Utah

The best drought tolerant plants for Utah can handle high elevations, alkaline soils, excessive exposure to wind, and use of secondary water.

Great Salt Lake trust offers millions for wetland protection